The math says Trump can’t get the votes of women in his own party; he will need to consider rethinking his strategy before he even looks at his odds of capturing Democratic and nonpartisan voters.
Given the amount of casual sexism Trump has expressed over the course of his campaign and throughout his life, it should hardly surprise anyone (except perhaps Donald himself) that women do not make up his strongest constituency. But since we have the data, let’s take a moment to quantify just how much the women of Wisconsin and New York dislike Trump. I based my work on the data from this New York survey and this Wisconsin survey.
We’ll start in Wisconsin with the basics: ballot support and favorability. Given a match-up between Trump, Cruz, Kasich, and an undecided option, Trump only picks up 25% of likely female voters, compared to 34% of likely male voters. When asked about the their opinion of Trump, 56% of women had either a somewhat or strongly unfavorable opinion, compared to 46% of men. By using a Chi-squared test, which allows us to see if there is an association between two variables, we can be 95% confident that there is a statistically significant difference between men and women on these points.
This trend continues into two issues that are surrounding Trump in the campaign: his infamous wall and the behavior of supporters at his rallies. Women tend to be more skeptical of him on both accounts. 51% of women voters believe that Trump’s rallies are becoming increasingly violent and that something needs to be changed, compared to 35% of men who think similarly. When it comes to Trump’s claim that he will be able to build a wall along the southern border that will be funded by Mexico, a significantly higher proportion of women are doubtful. Both of these statistics show that while Trump’s controversial comments about women may make headlines, it’s clearly not the only reason that he’s struggling to pull in their support.
Moving our attention to look at New York, just by glancing at any of the bar charts it’s clear that voters in New York are more favorable toward Trump than those in Wisconsin. Despite this, we still see the same difference between men and women’s attitudes toward Trump. A significantly lower proportion of women support and favor Trump compared to men, fewer women believe his stance on the border wall will come to fruition, and more believe he isn’t doing enough to prevent violence at his rallies.
While some may try to dismiss the gap between the support of men and women in a contest where where Trump is clearly dominating, it will be harder to ignore if Trump succeeds in securing the nomination. Based on the results of the survey in Wisconsin, only 50% of women who are likely primary voters are willing to vote for Trump in a general election, with 21% poised to jump ship for Clinton, 25% saying they would vote for someone else, and 5% choosing not to vote. Keep in mind that these are overwhelmingly registered Republicans. If Trump can’t secure the votes of women in his own party, he will need to consider rethinking his strategy before he even looks at his odds of capturing Democratic and nonpartisan voters.
Methodology: These results were based on two surveys distributed to likely Republican primary voters in Wisconsin and New York. A full description of how a “likely voter” in New York and in Wisconsin. It is largely based on those who voted in the last two Republican presidential primary elections.
In order to determine the significance (p-value < 0.05) of the relationships between gender and any of the questions we used to measure Trump support, a Chi-squared test of independence was performed. For instance, this allowed us to say that we are 95% confident that there is a relationship between gender and Trump favorability.